70th Anniversary of the first hurricane seeding experiment

On the afternoon of October 13, 1947, an Air Force B-17 aircraft penetrated a hurricane 415 miles (667 km) east of Jacksonville and dumped several pounds of crushed dry ice into the storm, just to see what would happen.  This was the first attempt to modify a tropical cyclone by seeding it with freezing nuclei.  …

35th Anniversary of first Synoptic Flow mission

On September 14, 1982, NOAA42 flew the first Synoptic Flow Experiment around Hurricane Debby.  The idea behind the experiment was to fly a large-scale pattern around a hurricane while releasing dropwindsondes at regular intervals.  This would create a three-dimensional map of the winds steering the storm.  The data would be entered into hurricane track forecast …

25th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew striking South Florida

In the early morning hours of August 24, 1992, Category-Five Hurricane Andrew roared across southern Florida leaving behind a trail of devastation that stunned the nation.  Andrew was the first hurricane of this ferocity to hit the continental United States since Hurricane Camille in 1969, and repercussions of its landfall were felt in the world …

35th anniversary of the publication first documenting the eyewall cycle in intense tropical cyclones

In February, 1982, The Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences published a ground-breaking study by Hugh Willoughby, Jean Clos, and Mohammed Shoreibah on what became to be known as the eyewall replacement cycle.  Using data obtained from NOAA P3 flights into very intense Hurricanes Anita, David and Allen, they found that a common feature of intense …

30th Anniversary of Project STORMFURY evaluation article

In the May 1985 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, an article evaluating Project STORMFURY written by four Hurricane Research Division scientists was published.  The Project was a twenty-year effort by the United States Government to test the hypothesis that seeding hurricanes with silver iodide would substantially alter the structure of the …

25th Anniversary of a ‘hairy hop’ into Hurricane Hugo

NOAA 42 radar display of Hugo's eyewall On September 15, 1989, NOAA 42 "Kermit" flew a research mission into Hurricane Hugo, east of Barbados, that became what old-time Hurricane Hunters called a "hairy hop".  This referred to a hurricane flight where the turbulence was so severe as to put the mission in jeopardy. The day …